Design Culture Salon 4 — How does design function in a recession?

Tuesday 26 March, 1900h-2030h
Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre, V&A
Irena Bauman (Bauman Lyons Architects)
Jeremy Till (Central St Martins)
Bianca Eizenbaumer and Fabio Franz (Brave New Alps)
Louis Moreno (University College London)

These are tough times for all creative fields. Some practitioners baton down. Others see the economic slowdown as an opportunity to rethink what they do. Can design really re-invent itself or will it be ‘business as usual’? How might scarcity impact on urban culture? What can be done with all those unemployed designers? How does a recession impact on public practices?

Free, but booking is essential:


Irena Bauman is a practicing architect and a founding director of Bauman Lyons Architects. She  is also a Professor of Sustainable Urbanism at Sheffield University School of Architecture and is the Chair of Yorkshire Design Review, Patron of the Urban Design Group, a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts and director of LeedsLoveitShareit (LLISI) CIC. She is the author of How to be a.Happy Architect and was a columnist for Building Design magazine writing about ethical issues in the architectural profession. Currently she is working on a new book for the RIBA on retrofitting neighbourhoods of the future for climate change.

Bianca Elzenbaumer and Fabio Franz have collaborated since 2005 under the collective name Brave New Alps. They investigate the cultural value of design and its capacity to question our surrounding realities and to actively suggest alternatives. A current project of theirs is ‘Designing Economic Cultures’ . This three year long research project is generated within the context of Bianca Elzenbaumer’s Ph.D. at the Design department of Goldsmiths College in London. The project sets out to investigate the relationship between socio-economic precarity and the production of socially and politically engaged design projects. They are both graduates of the MA in Communication Art & Design at the Royal College of Art.

Louis Moreno is completing a PhD thesis at the UCL Urban Laboratory and has been a visiting graduate tutor at Goldsmiths (Visual Culture). His PhD research (funded by AHRC and CABE) examines the relationship between the changing national and regional economic structure of the UK and the production of the built environment in UK cities over the past twenty years. In 2009 he edited a collection of essays from leading and emerging urban thinkers examining how the architecture and urban culture of cities are shaped by moments of financial crisis. A pdf of the book is available here:

Jeremy Till is an architect, educator and writer. He is Head of Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design and Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of the Arts London. His extensive written work includes Flexible Housing (with Tatjana Schneider, 2007), Architecture Depends (2009) and Spatial Agency(with Nishat Awan and Tatjana Schneider, 2011). All three of these won the RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding Research, an unprecedented sequence of success in this prestigious prize. As an architect, he worked with Sarah Wigglesworth Architects on their pioneering building, 9 Stock Orchard Street, which won the RIBA Sustainability Prize. He curated the British Pavilion at the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Guy Julier, chairing the event, is the University of Brighton/Victoria & Albert Museum Principal Research Fellow in Contemporary Design and Visiting Professor of Design Culture at the University of Southern Denmark.

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2 Responses to Design Culture Salon 4 — How does design function in a recession?

  1. Pingback: At Design Culture Salon | Brave New Alps - Bianca Elzenbaumer & Fabio Franz

  2. Pingback: Design Culture Salons | Brave New Alps - Bianca Elzenbaumer & Fabio Franz

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